• Killing Trail

  • A Timber Creek K-9 Mystery, Book 1
  • By: Margaret Mizushima
  • Narrated by: Nancy Wu
  • Length: 9 hrs and 19 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (8,271 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

When a young girl is found dead in the mountains outside Timber Creek, lifelong resident Officer Mattie Cobb and her partner, K-9 police dog Robo, are assigned to the case that has rocked the small Colorado town.

With the help of Cole Walker, a local veterinarian and single father, Mattie and Robo must track down the truth before it claims another victim. But the more Mattie investigates, the more she realizes how many secrets her town holds. And the key may be Cole's daughter, who knows more than she's saying. The murder was just the beginning, and if Mattie isn't careful, she and Robo could be next.

Suspenseful and smart, Killing Trail is an explosive debut that will have listeners clamoring for more Mattie and Robo for years to come.

©2015 Margaret Mizushima (P)2016 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about Killing Trail

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

For GSD or any dog-lover as well as crime fans

Love the relationship between K-9 Robo and his handler Cobb. Author definitely understands the male German Shepherd. Excellent character development, mystery part was OK. Learning how a K-9 works was fascinating. I really enjoyed this and will continue on to the next one. Some complained about narrator's pacing. I listened at 1.25 speed, which is my usual speed, and she sounded find to me.

82 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Not bad for a first novel, but shallow mystery.

I really couldn't decide what I thought about the protagonist, Mattie Cobb, but the dog is the real hero. On the one hand, Mattie is supposedly a tough lady and clearly trying to be a dedicated officer. She seems to relate well enough to children and other women, but acts like a young teenager around men instead of a woman in her early 30's. She is portrayed as having trust issues, but in fact, she behaves as if all her feelings about men are new to her. The dialog is equally immature; it sounds more like a young adult novel. As to her K9 training, we are told repeatedly how, in training, she learned to trust her dog's signals, but she repeatedly discounts his reactions and overlooks the obvious. She must know that dogs have 100 times more nasal sensors per unit area than humans, and that a large dog will also have a much larger olfactory area. They can also hear frequencies beyond human range.

Then there is the sophisticated female lead detective, who has a split personality--sometimes friendly and supportive, other times playing games and jerking Mattie around. Despite having trust issues, Mattie spills her guts to her. It all seems so contrived.

The only character I really liked was the old Sheriff.

As a mystery, the villain is fairly obvious early on. The main question in my mind was who were his collaborators? Of course, Mattie doesn't realize what's going on until much later.

The author does seem to know much about dogs and police training, although Robo seems to be a genius dog. If I didn't like dogs, I might not have finished the book.

Nancy Wu does a good job giving voice to the various characters.

I might give the second book in the series a try if others think it is better than the first.

48 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Good premise disappointing story

What would have made Killing Trail better?

A better editor could improve the writing and make the characters more believable.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

The premise of the crime and the inclusion of the dogs makes it very interesting. The only word I can think of for the story/characters is dumb.

Did Nancy Wu do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

Okay reader.

Any additional comments?

Wish it were better written.

16 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Needs a stronger heroine

Good characters, but main character agonizes over everything and her lack of confidence is annoying and boring. Too many cliche situations (cell phone left in the car, flashlight batteries failing) make her seem stupid as well.

45 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Fun but a bit cliched

I enjoyed the novelty of a crime novel with a dog since I am a dog lover, but the book was quite full of stereotypes and cliches. Enjoyable but nothing spectacular.

46 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Exciting first book in new series

When I read the description and read the main characters were a female officer and a K9, I was intrigued. The story was very well written and the narration spot on. I highly recommend this book and hope to have a second in the series soon.

23 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Fell in Love with Robo

When I saw that this was a debut novel, I had low expectations but couldn't resist a K-9 story. I was surprised and amazed how much I enjoyed the characters and the plot.

Mattie was engaging, smart and extremely likable and of course Robo stole my heart. I am already looking forward to the next book.

38 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Loved it!!

Terrific, complex characters and great storyline. Love dogs and a good mystery! I've already purchased Book 2!!!

16 people found this helpful

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  • L.
  • 10-03-16

Always listen to your dog

Where does Killing Trail rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Killing Trail rates highly in my book. Dog lovers will certainly relate to K-9 Deputy Robo.

What did you like best about this story?

I like the fact that dogs are portrayed in feature roles, central to the story development and resolution.

What about Nancy Wu’s performance did you like?

Nancy Wu's narration was spot-on. Her voice makes for easy listening and her effective use of accents makes it easy to distinguish and keep track of characters. Her pacing is perfect. Her inflection helps to create just the right imagery. I will be seeking and choosing more books narrated by Nancy Wu.

15 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Killing Trail, Timber Creek Book 1

This book was very well written and narrated. Nevertheless I rated the Story with 4 stars because it was sprinkled with what I consider to be category 1 profanity. That is, there were no f-bombs but their favorite four letter word was "s", with a few "sobs" thrown in. The overall story and narration out weighed that distraction, hence my overall rating is 5 stars.

22 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 09-25-21

Good listen

I enjoyed this book more than I thought I was going to. It kept my attention and I finished it in two days. The relationship with Robo (the police dog) was lovely. I'm moving straight onto the next book because I can't wait to hear more about them.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Rob
  • 11-03-21

Excellent in all respects

Had no great expectations but now looking for others
Great story with great narration, a real easy listen

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-28-21

Extremely boring

Nice narration and concept but so boring I didn’t even finish it. I threw in the towel with an hour left…

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-25-21

Not my cup of tea

I didn't enjoy the book mostly because of the narrator. Her voice irritated me to no end, it sounded so childish and silly most of the time. The story wasn't great either, It felt like it was written by an amateur but again, it could be the narration that gave me that impression.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Angela
  • 09-27-21

Good mystery, great dog

Although there were elements of the mystery which could be guessed overall the story hung together really well. Both the dog and his handler are good characters with a good degree of development in this book but enough openings for the promise of more to come.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ann
  • 08-23-21

Brilliant!

Thoroughly enjoyed this fantastic book!
I hope there are more! I’ve not read this author before, so I will watch out for more!

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-17-22

Wrong narrator

The wrong narrator was chosen for this. It’s a good book that kept me engaged but it was read in the way a child’s fairytale would be read. It lacked the feeling of suspense where needed because it was read so… “gently”

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • caroline wright
  • 08-17-22

unexpected pleasure

this was such an enjoyable listen. the narration really worked but the story was the highlight.

off to investigate more by this author and narrator

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ronald Betts
  • 07-20-22

Dramatic and a great listen

What a wonderful job trained dogs do and amazing things they do and this story covers the finding of a dead body in a forest of wonderful smells, its a great iisten well written and well narrated enjoy.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • lou dumbleton
  • 06-17-22

Brilliant

amazing book had me from beginning to end, a must read, for those who love police K 9 stories

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-15-22

Loved it!

Easy to listen to, read very well in a non-automotive way.
Great story, gripping right til the end.
Well researched and realistic.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • alan riles
  • 08-10-22

veterinary and canine slant on police procedural!

Worked for me, despite only average narration, and Denver/eastern Rockies small town setting familiar and well rendered.
German shepherd Robo, as tracker-dog for deputy sheriff Mattie, is a credible character, not over-done, and with minimal anthropomorphism. A competent mystery plot with a great small-town America backcloth, enhanced by the veterinary and canine elements.
Trying to avoid a plot-spolier, Robo leading Mattie out of a 'couldn't see a hand in front of your face' situation really resonated with me, having been 'rescued' by Monty, my labrador/springer spaniel cross, from benightment in Australian trpoical rainforest.
Suspect that the series may eventually become formulaic, but for now I am hooked, already almost finished book 2!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-23-22

A Dog's Tale

A great little tale! I felt that the narration did not give enough to differentiate between the characters.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-09-22

love robo and maddie

great story, easy to listen to, love the two protagonists - canine and human, hope there's more!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Aylish Stewart
  • 07-08-22

I really enjoyed this book

This was easy to listen to, the characters were likeable. I'm going to listen to the rest of this series.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • alana gibson
  • 05-12-22

good book

this was a really great story. will read it again thats for sure. i was different.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-23-22

I enjoyed this one, keeps the reader interested.

loved it, particularly enjoyed the dog training parts, found that interesting. going to try next book.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Bookworm
  • 12-15-21

Worst Narrator for male voices I've heard yet!!

Great story & I want to thank Margaret for that. BUT... The Narrator does not do justice to the story at all. She reads everything at the same pitch. I had to stop frequently to work out which character was speaking - was it a male or a female?? You couldn't tell because she said everything as if just reading aloud from the book. Sorry, I couldn't even reach the end of the first book. Would like to try other stories from Margaret Mizushima if there is any.